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Yoko Ono exhibition coming to Tate Modern in February 2024 will be UK's largest

Updated: Nov 15

A huge art exhibition dedicated to Yoko Ono will be among the 2024 highlights at London's Tate Modern. The mammoth show will be an entire retrospective, spanning seven decades and all the key moments in her career.

Ono is a leading figure in conceptual and performance art, experimental film and music. She developed her practice in America, Japan and the UK, and is renowned for her activism, as well as her campaigns for world peace and a better environment.

YOKO ONO: MUSIC OF THE MIND will open at Tate Modern in February 2024. It's been conceived in close collaboration with Ono’s studio, and it's going to be the largest exhibition celebrating the ground-breaking artist ever held in the UK.

The Japanese artist — who was married to the late Beatles musician John Lennon — is now 90 years old. For many visitors, a highlight of the show will be her years in London, from 1966 to 1971, where she met Lennon.

Black and white photograph of Yoko Ono looking at the camera holding a hammer
Yoko Ono with Glass Hammer 1967 from HALF - A - WIND SHOW, Lisson Gallery, London, 1967 . Photograph: Clay Perry © Yoko Ono

But they will also get to enjoy many other works — from early performances to her activist projects such as PEACE IS POWER and Wish Tree — and which all collectively will trace the development of her innovative work and its enduring impact on contemporary culture.

What will visitors see at the Yoko Ono exhibition?

Tate have confirmed that over 200 artworks will go on display as part of the show. There'll be 'instruction pieces' — where readers are asked via written instructions to imagine, experience, make or complete the artwork — installations, films, scores, music and photography.

Ono's London years will at the heart of the exhibition. The exhibition will chart Ono’s radical works created during her five-year stay in London from 1966. Key installations from Ono’s influential exhibitions at Indica and Lisson Gallery will feature, including Apple 1966 and the poignant installation of halved domestic objects Half-A-Room 1967.

Ono’s banned Film No. 4 (Bottoms) 1966-7 which she created as a ‘petition for peace’ will be displayed alongside material from her influential talk at the Destruction In Art Symposium. Visitors will also be able to participate in White Chess Set — a work first realised in 1966 that demonstrates Ono’s anti-war stance.

And in fact, the exhibition's title comes from Ono’s Music of the Mind series of concerts and events in British capital, as well as Liverpool, in 1966 and 1967, and where she created instructions for people to imagine sound in their own minds.

Another major highlight will be the show's big finale, a huge new piece inviting visitor participation. It will see a new iteration of Ono's 2004 work My Mommy Is Beautiful which consists of a 15-metre-long wall of canvases that visitors can attach photographs of their own mothers, as well as sharing personal thoughts and feelings. It will no doubt be one of the most moving sections of the exhibition.

The artist’s commitment to feminism will be illustrated by key films including FLY 1970-1, in which a fly crawls over a naked woman’s body while Ono's vocals chart its journey, and Freedom 1970, depicting Ono as she attempts and fails to break free from her bra.

Image of a close up of a woman's mouth and nose in profile with a fly on her lips
Yoko Ono, FLY 1970 - 71. Courtesy the artist

Tate will also ask visitors to take part in a new staging of Ono’s recent project Add Colour (Refugee Boat). First seen in 2016, people will be invited to add paint to white gallery walls and a white boat, as a way to reflect on urgent issues of crisis and displacement.

Ono’s work will also be seen beyond the Tate Modern exhibition gallery. The gallery's windows overlooking the River Thames will feature the artist’s powerful intervention, PEACE is POWER, first shown 2017 and translated into multiple languages. The interactive artwork — Wish Tree, first realised 1996 — will greet visitors at the entrance to Tate Modern, and will invite passers-by to contribute individual wishes for peace.

The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. It follows Ono's most recent London show, Yoko Ono: MEND PIECE for London at the Whitechapel Gallery.

When will Yoko Ono exhibition tickets be available?

Tickets for Yoko Ono at Tate Modern are on sale right now! Tickets for Adults are priced at £20 and concessions are £19. It is of course free for Tate members.

There'll be an accompanying catalogue too. Also produced in close collaboration with Ono's studio, it'll feature new insights and commentary from curators and historians. It too will be published in February 2024.

2024 will be a jam-packed year for visitors to Tate Modern, as other major exhibitions include Expressionists, a landmark show of over 130 works by The Blue Rider circle, and the UK’s first major exhibition of American artist Mike Kelley.

YOKO ONO: MUSIC OF THE MIND opens at Tate Modern on 15 February 2024 and runs until 1 September 2024.

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